The main purpose of Karma Yoga is to control and eventually let go of your ego. It is essential that in the practice of Karma Yoga you do not involve your ego because only then can you do it without attachment and desire. Sometimes a person thinks he needs some ego in order to perform better and to grow, but we grow outside of ego, we grow deeper through humility. In other words Karma Yoga means humbling your ego, serving your community, and being part of something bigger than yourself. Only when the ego is released, will one come to union of the mind, body and soul. Then one discovers union of self with the divine, and oneness with those around you. What Karma Yoga experience have you had lately?
My most recent Karma Yoga experience over the last 3 months has included putting in well over 20 hours of hard work to offer Karma Yoga classes for “My Vinyasa Practice” to complete my 500 Hr YTT. This was quite the adventure for me, it came with a lot of trepidation because I am new to teaching classes live on ZOOM. The ego was blasted out of the water for me as I had no idea how to even offer this method of teaching and it was and continues to be a very humbling experience for me. I miss the personal connection with people from having taught over 1,500 hours of yoga through the years which included both volunteer hours and paid hours. The reward of paid classes is simple, there are bills to be paid. The love of teaching yoga and then offering what I love as Karma Yoga has no limit to the gratification, satisfaction, and overwhelming joy that I experience by simply offering what has changed my life for the better and giving that to others to inspire and help them live a healthier, more personally fulfilled life too.
“What is Karma Yoga?” one may ask. On a very basic level, teaching yoga to others and not collecting money for your effort. It is discovering the depths of life without ego, a greater wisdom with humility. But, there is so much more to be learned as we delve into the practice and offering of Karma Yoga. What is Karma? To me, Karma is the full circle of life. I have experienced many full circle moments in my lifetime. Some of these circles have not connected back up yet, but I know they will in time. Karma, what you give out, whether it be positive or negative energy, will come back to you again in its own time. This creates a full circle approach to life. We are born, we live, we breathe, we die and so it goes. The dust of the earth continues to come alive, there is growth, a time of harvest, and then a return back to the dust of the earth once again. With what effort and energy you put forth in this life, that same effort and energy shows up for you on your journey in many forms. Go out into the world with your passion and love for what you do and never give up!
In my Karma Yoga teaching during COVID-19, I wanted to be sure to thoroughly study how to go about teaching yoga from home. This included looking into the eye of a computer screen and figuring out how to create eye contact and a heart connection with the people on the other side of the camera. There was still an energy moving through the cosmic waves and I was grateful for the physical distance to be minimized somewhat because of the contact through a computer. But, the magnitude of energy as a whole embodied experience with a room full of living, breathing, sweating, moving participants was lost. That has been the hardest part for me in this new age of teaching online.
I then wanted to be sure that students had a good connection through the internet with me. That students could hear and see me well as I spoke and demonstrated the 60-90 minute classes. In order to do this, I spent hours studying how to create an effective class environment from my home location for others to follow along from their home as well. I invested my money into a course on how to move my work online. I followed along with internet trainings, and purchased lighting and bluetooth wireless headphones. I studied how to use Zoom and had many practice runs with family to be sure I was understanding the logistics. I studied how to create a YouTube page and to upload the Karma Yoga videos to share with others.
I offered three main classes per week as well as a few other styles. ABC Yoga on Mondays at 7:00 AM, Restorative/Meditation Yoga on Wednesdays at 7:00 PM, and Yoga Sculpt on Fridays at 7:00 AM. I sent out my Zoom meeting invites and was excited to see the response of students wanting to attend the classes. In offering these classes it was very fulfilling and kept me motivated to continue my own practice of yoga during one of the most stressful times of my life. A big thank you to those of you who tried and tested the waters with me as we did live Zoom yoga classes together. I would love to hear your input, feelings, and experience through this form of practice. I know each of you have attended classes at Hummingbird Yoga Studio that I had to close due to COVID. But, we journey on and I am grateful for your support.
These Karma Yoga classes gave me courage to step out into new waters, strength to endure whatever the day might bring, peace knowing that there are others on the other end of this isolation period, grace and compassion for myself as I did my best to teach to an empty physical classroom and instead to a virtual classroom of students on a screen. That in itself was very challenging. There is a lack of tangible connection through the internet. A mindset shift was needed for me after having taught years of actual classes full of students and guiding them through an experience they will never forget; to now offer what I hope will be helpful for everyone but there is a disconnect for me in a way that is impossibly hard to describe. To not be able to reach out with my heart connection to help students find the deepest possible physical, emotional, spiritual, mentally stimulating experience of their day – – has been emotionally overwhelming for me.
Offering Karma Yoga at this time in the world from the isolation of my own home through the eye of a computer has not been as deeply satisfying as teaching Karma Yoga in my own studio. But, I continued to show up, to be present, to arrive on time regardless if anyone showed up to the classes or not. I began to discover a greater depth of humility, integrity, and passion for what I love.
I will be honest with you, I absolutely miss giving students a hug when they walk into my studio, I miss feeling into a room full of people and having tears come to my eyes because I am so overjoyed and moved by the very presence of each student who is in the room. I miss teaching to the needs of every student in the room as I watch them carefully move through their practice. I miss the heightened energy shift as we move into standing poses and more challenging holds. I miss the peak moments that you can only feel when teaching in person.
I miss then slowly and gently bringing the students back down to a place of opening fully to what will be, what is there just for them, and guiding them through gentle stretching and words of self-love. I miss offering savasana, and a light massage on the hands or feet of those who want physical touch. I miss playing my guitar and serenading the class in song, and sensing the sound of heaven coming into the room. I miss having students linger after class to ask questions or express their feelings and emotions from what came up for them in class. I miss the absolute satisfaction of creating a powerful experience for each person to walk away with and know that they have just lived the most satisfying 75 minutes of their day.
I will continue this Karma Yoga journey of teaching yoga from home, recording the classes, uploading them to YouTube, and give it all I’ve got as I continue to learn and grow with the ever changing times. My hope is to find a similar connection that was created in the physical location of Hummingbird Yoga Studio and recreate that connection online. To connect with the world in ways I have not yet dreamed of. May we each ask our deeper self, “ What do I have to offer the world as a result of my story?” I hope that you too will leap, trust, and grow from experiences you never thought you could endure and come out stronger for it! Shine your light! Grow! Experience! Live! Just Be! Hummingbird Yoga on YouTube
What a beautiful time of year as we breathe in the fragrance of fall, as we watch the rainbow of colors that splash across the mountains, over the valleys, and through the fields. May we accept change just as naturally and respond in love.
Do you ever wonder how your breath can bring healing to your entire being? As you discover the potency of your yoga practice, you will realize that you have been gifted with the breath of life to bring about renewed energy, to live in freedom from anxiety, lower your stress levels, and even overcome the self-criticism or self-doubt that we often struggle with on a daily basis. I invite you to follow along with me on Hummingbird Yoga YouTube as I lead you through different styles of yoga from the convenience of your own home.
I know COVID-19 has ushered in all sorts of abrupt changes to the world we once knew from closing schools, closing businesses, to changing home front dynamics, even losing loved ones physically and emotionally. Mental and physical health as well as total well-being have become more important now than ever before. We must restructure our life to fit a new pattern, to ride the waves. Change is inevitable, but the strength to grow, the courage to surrender to the journey, the stamina to stay motivated, and the desire to THRIVE has never been more crucial.
I have been working diligently for the last six months to overcome obstacles on my own journey of life and I now offer to you Hummingbird Yoga classes online! Although I had to physically close the studio, I am making progress with each of you in mind. I am new to the online teaching method, but as most of the world has transitioned to this new way of offering everything under the sun, I have taken a leap of faith once again to progress in this new style of teaching.
I absolutely miss the energy and the outpouring of love at Hummingbird Hot Yoga Studio in Teton Valley, Idaho! I miss joining with others seven days per week on the mat. As I taught, I became both a teacher and a student learning from the lives of all who entered. Each student brought about a tremendous amount of energy and vitality into the room. As we all moved and breathed together for 75 minutes of class we became one in spirit and we learned to trust our inner guide in greater ways. I miss the sweat from the heat and humidity during Hot Yoga classes, and then watching as students left feeling absolutely transformed. I miss the Sound baths, the Sunday Spa Days, the Restorative Yoga classes, and the private group sessions noting the emotional shift and positive change that each person was witness to in their own life as they gathered together after class! But, a new wave has come . . . how will we each choose to ride it out?
Maybe you are in a place right now that you believe you might just drown in all of the chaos and confusion around you. You have no relief as the next wave comes crashing down before you have even had the chance to breathe …… you are knocked down again so fiercely that your body smashes against the rocks and the coral reef below. You know this can’t be the end, you have too much fight left in you. Your eyes are straining to see through a blurry gaze in every direction, trying to figure out which way is up through all of the seaweed and the foaming bubbles that surround you. The light streaming though the waves appears just as dim in every direction as you are pushed down by even greater force once again without even the chance to escape for a breath. At last, you see a hand stretching out into the water, you trust, you take that hand as it pulls you up onto the roughness of a rocky shoreline where you cough and splutter. You gulp in air and breathe a deep breath of life. Willing yourself to survive, you look around and scramble up to rush away from the jaws of yet another pounding wave that is ready to pull you back in. You realize that you are impossibly important and there is a life to be lived that is yours and yours alone.
I know that everything in life is for a season, for a reason, for a greater purpose. The truth is, you are here to leave your corner of the world a better place! So, wherever the storms of life take you, trust and ride the waves. No matter how challenging life gets, you are always on a path to bring about a greater depth of character in your own life and in so doing touch the lives of those around you. Remember that you are enough, just the way you are! Give life your best shot, you are stronger and braver than you ever imagined!
I am always offering new classes on the Hummingbird Yoga YouTube page, so please like and subscribe to stay up to date with current offerings. If you have any specific class style please make your request known and I will make a class for you. If you are interested in private live Zoom classes tailored to meet your needs, please reach out and I would be happy to create a class just for you.
Changing the world together one breath at a time!
With much love and gratitude, Ruth
Renew Restore Revive
YouTube Classes 15-90 minutes
All ability levels with modifications
You may need a bolster, blanket, 2 blocks, yoga strap, light weights and a quiet space.
Please click the following link to start your yoga journey with me.
With the ever changing world and the closure of the physical location of Hummingbird Yoga, I have worked hard to bring to you class offerings from the convenience of home. If you have any class style requests, please reach out to me today and I will be happy to create a class tailored to your needs.
Request a private live ZOOM class today. Ruth: 208-252-1798.
Online Yoga Classes Starting July 13!! Yoga online with Ruth Graupner, owner/founder of Hummingbird Yoga Studio in Driggs, Idaho
Due to COVID-19, the physical location for Hummingbird Yoga was permanently closed June 1, 2020. I will now be offering three live online classes per week July 13 – September 4, 2020, for all current punch card holders. Each current punch card holder will receive an email with a ZOOM link for free access to these 24 classes.
If you do not have a current punch card but would like to participate in these classes, please be sure to contact me via email and I will email the ZOOM class link to you. firstname.lastname@example.org. Payment of $15 per class will need to be set up with me by phone using Venmo, PayPal, or credit card. Ruth, 208-317-0994. If you want to invite your friends/family, they too may join in on classes through payment of $15 per class.
When school resumes in late August, the morning class times may change from 9:00-10:15 AM, as I will need to get my three children off to school.
Mondays 7:00-8:15 am ABC Fundamentals of Yoga
Are you wanting to get back to the basics of your yoga practice? Or are you new to yoga and curious, wanting to discover what yoga is all about? This class cultivates an atmosphere of personal growth, self-acceptance, and non-judgment, allowing participants to identify with yoga in ways meaningful to them in both their practice and as part of the yoga community. Each class will include stretching, breath awareness, yoga postures, and relaxation. No previous yoga experience required.
Wednesdays 7:00-8:15 pm Restorative Yoga
This is a restful, calming class including breathing techniques, poses supported with blocks, straps, and yoga blankets. With dedication to increase body awareness, rest, balance through the Chakras, and mindfulness. Restorative yoga helps to reduce stress and rejuvenate the mind, body, and spirit. This is a perfect beginning yoga class that is also appropriate for those working with injury, limited mobility, pre-and post-natal, and for those who prefer a softer, gentler approach to yoga. With guidance through imagery and reflection. Please have a water bottle, yoga mat, a blanket, yoga blocks, a strap and bolster.
Fridays 7:00-8:15 am Yoga Sculpt
An energizing, challenging and powerful class that will leave you feeling rinsed and revitalized. This class is designed to improve posture, energy levels, balance, flexibility, and strength. It has the intention to help you relax the mind, calm mental fluctuations, open the heart, lift your spirit, boost metabolism, and gain a stronger mind/body connection. This practice will teach the art of patience through breath control and body alignment while you hold more challenging poses. The session ends with time to relax, rest in the moment and enjoy the effort you made for yourself. Each class develops from previous classes to graduate to more challenging poses. Please have a water bottle, yoga mat, yoga blocks, light weights if you would like to use them. A blanket, strap, and bolster may come in handy.
It has been a pleasure serving you through Hummingbird Yoga, I look forward to seeing you in the ZOOM classes soon!